Lindsey - posted on 12/17/2011 ( 17 moms have responded )
The signs are all there... non-stop carols on every radio station, throngs of last-minute holiday shoppers choking up the checkout lines, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer on the T.V. every night, lights, trees and decorations... it's Christmas time again.
This year, we're doing things differently in our household. My husband and I discussed this months ago, and decided to simplify this year. Our little guy is getting just a few select gifts (nothing expensive or over the top), and we are doing the same for each other. And we are not buying gifts for every Tom, Dick, Harry and Aunt Sylvia. And we have asked that others not buy gifts for our son, or if they absolutely must, that they buy books or clothing rather than toys.
We have also decided that, starting this year, we are going to have our own family Christmas. That means it will be just the three of us on Christmas Day. We will start our own Christmas traditions, in our own home. I will not be making a ginormous turkey whose leftovers will stink up my fridge by New Years. I will not stress out over whether my Christmas tree is leaning to one side or if some of the lights on my house are burned out, or if there are enough presents under the tree.
Here's the problem, it seems many people in our family disagree with our plans.
Certain family members have expressed outrage that we are not going into debt to buy our son a couple hundred toys (most of which will be broken or forgotten by Boxing Day). "Christmas is for the kids", they say.
Other family members are shocked that we will not be travelling to see them on Christmas day. They have asked us repeatedly if we are coming to their home for Christmas, and we have to tell them (repeatedly) that we are spending Christmas day at home. We will visit them either on Christmas Eve or Boxing Day, and they are more than welcome to come and visit with us as well.
Add to that the fact that some of our siblings seem to think that it is our responsibility to buy their children presents. We used to do that every year, but between my hubby and I, we have 9 of them. If we were to buy each of them a $20 gift that would set us back $180 (not to mention shipping costs). And let's face it, $20 does not go very far, especially when you're talking about teenagers who want I-phones, video games and cell phones for Christmas.
We are not Grinch's and we are not out to ruin the holidays for others. We love our families and we love Christmas. We just want to get back to the basics. We want our son to learn about family and about giving and about the true meaning of Christmas. And we want to start our own family traditions. But it appears that by simplifying our Christmas, we've ended up complicating matters.
Anyone have any thoughts?